Ask an Expert: Basic Life Support Training

Can you please explain what the HRSA requirements are for Basic Life Support Training for clinical staff? Are all clinical staff required to provide evidence of current certification?


Yes, the health center is required to ensure all clinical staff providing patient care can provide current certification of Basic Life Support (BLS) training.  The requirements for BLS certification are outlined in “Chapter Five, Clinical Staffing,” of the HRSA Health Center Compliance Manual, as well as the HRSA Credentialing and Privileging File Review Resource.  This chapter includes evaluation of the initial and recurring credentialing and privileging procedures the health center has in place for Licensed Independent Practitioners (LIPs), Other Licensed and Certified Professionals (OLCPs) and Other Clinical Staff (OCS).  If the health center does not employ OCS, they are not required to have credentialing and privileging/competency procedures for this category of staff.  

During an Operational Site Visit, the Clinical Reviewer is required to utilize the HRSA Health Center Site Visit Protocol to evaluate compliance with all the required elements.  Per “Element C, Question Five” of the Site Visit Protocol, the reviewer must answer yes or no to each bullet point of the following question:

Do the health center’s credentialing procedures require verification of the following for all clinical staff (LIPs, OLCPs, and other clinical staff) who are health center employees, individual contractors, or volunteers) upon hire and on a recurring basis:

    • Current licensure, registration or certification using a primary source for LIPs and OLCPs?
    • Completion of a query through the NPDB?
    • DEA registration (as applicable)?
  • Current documentation of basic life support training (or comparable training completed through licensure or certification)?

Please note, industry standard best practices utilized by high performing health centers, demonstrate ALL staff are required to provide evidence of current BLS certification.  

Health centers should follow the guidance outlined in Chapter Five of the HRSA Health Center Compliance Manual (Compliance Manual Chapter 5) and the HRSA Credentialing and Privileging File Review Resource (Credentialing and Privileging File Review Resource).  Additionally, health centers can conduct a self-evaluation of compliance by answering the questions in the “Clinical Staffing” section of the HRSA Site Visit Protocol (Site Visit Protocol Clinical Staffing), as it pertains to BLS certification. 

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